MISSOULA, Mont.—The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation awarded $275,112 in grants for 30 projects to enhance wildlife habitat, assist with elk-related research and help fund hunting heritage activities across Colorado.
The grants will directly benefit 13,071 acres in Chaffee, Eagle, El Paso, Fremont, Garfield, Grand, Gunnison, Huerfano, Jackson, Larimer, Las Animas, Mesa, Moffat, Park, Pitkin, Rio Blanco, Rio Grande, Saguache and Teller Counties.
“The overriding factor paving the way for Colorado to boast having some of the largest elk herds in North America is habitat,” said David Allen, RMEF president and CEO. “These grants will further enhance key wildlife habitat by providing funding for forest thinning, prescribed burns, noxious weed treatments and other projects to better stimulate growth for elk forage.”
Allen thanked RMEF volunteers and members in Colorado who raised the grant funding for the on-the-ground projects in their backyard by carrying out a variety of activities including banquets and membership drives.
Since 1987, RMEF and its partners have completed 663 conservation and hunting heritage outreach projects in Colorado with a combined value of more than $159.3 million. These projects have protected or enhanced 422,662 acres of habitat and opened or secured public access to 103,598 acres.
Below is a sampling of Colorado’s 2015 projects, listed by county:
Garfield County—Perform shrub mastication on 800 acres, prescribed burning on 2,000 acres, and herbicide application on 200 acres as part of a multi-year project to improve wildlife habitat on approximately 6,000 acres across the south side of the Rifle Ranger District on the White River National Forest (also benefits Mesa County).
Grand County—Provide funding for a study to document and assess movements of elk within the Troublesome and Williams Fork herds near Middle Park, Colorado, on state, Arapaho National Forest and Rocky Mountain National Park lands to assist wildlife managers with management decisions.
Jackson County—Thin 462 acres of lodgepole pine in elk summer and transitional range on the Routt National Forest to stimulate the growth of forbs, grasses and shrubs.
Las Animas County—Place solar pumps on former windmill-generated water sources to provide water for wildlife where it is presently intermittent or unavailable near sites that previously received habitat enhancement treatment to assist with elk distribution on the Bosque del Oso State Wildlife Area.
Mesa County—Provide funding for Base Camp 40, an organization dedicated to taking military veterans on memorable hunts, which will host seven veterans on a private land cow elk hunt near Glade Park, Colorado.
Go here to see a full listing of RMEF’s 2015 projects in Colorado.
Partners for the Colorado projects include Arapaho-Roosevelt, Grand Mesa, Gunnison, Medicine Bow-Routt, Pike, Rio Grande, San Isabel, Uncompahgre and White River National Forests, Bureau of Land Management, Colorado Parks and Wildlife, and other government, university, civic and sportsmen groups and organizations.
Join the RMEF Meeting of the Members on Tuesday, December 15, 2015, at 10:00 a.m. MST via webinar or in person at RMEF headquarters in Missoula, Mont. Please email any questions you may have for RMEF leadership to firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation:
Founded over 30 years ago, fueled by hunters and a membership of more than 205,000 strong, RMEF has conserved more than 6.7 million acres for elk and other wildlife. RMEF also works to open and improve public access, fund and advocate for science-based resource management, and ensure the future of America’s hunting heritage. Discover why “Hunting Is Conservation™” at www.rmef.org or 800-CALL ELK.